This just in: crazy cheering in Rome for the premiere of Angela Gheorghiu's Violetta in Traviata (the eighth staging of this opera in Zeffirelli's career) at Opera di Roma.
But the triumph is for oldskool baritone Renato Bruson, who got cheered so wildly, for several minutes, in a standing ovation by the entire theatre after his "Di Provenza", that OMGOMGOMG he decided to pull a Juan Diego & give an encore to the crowd that at that point totally lost its pewp, drunk with Bacchanalian joy.
Less thrilled, apparently, was Mrs. Alagna herself.
But after all, even if 71 year old Bruson's voice is obviously quite spent, he remains -- in Opera Chic's humble view -- one of the greatest Germont ever, certainly the greatest of the last 30 years (and Opera Chic is a HUGE Cappuccili and Nucci fan). But Bruson's ability in creating a Germont that is a monster of ambiguity and cynicism and hypocrisy -- a character of Shakespearian proportions -- well deserved the recognition (right after last year's recital at la Scala, Bruson got almost buried under an avalanche of flowers raining down on him -- an honor that left the famously grumpy baritone visibly moved).
So give it up for Maestro Bruson and, hells, for Giuseppe Verdi and Francesco Maria Piave.
Oh, I almost forgot -- Angela Gheorghiu was there, too.